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The idea factory : Bell Labs and the great age of American innovation

Author: Jon Gertner
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2012.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This work highlights achievements of Bell Labs as a leading innovator, exploring the role of its highly educated employees in developing new technologies while considering the qualities of companies where innovation and development are most successful. The author shows how Bell Labs served as an incubator for scientific innovation from the 1920s through the 1980s. In its heyday, Bell Labs boasted nearly 15,000
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jon Gertner
ISBN: 9781594203282 1594203288 9780143122791 0143122797
OCLC Number: 733230713
Description: 422 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: Wicked problems --
Oil drops --
West to East --
System --
War --
Solid state --
House of magic --
The informationist --
Man and machines --
Formula --
Silicon --
Empire --
An instigator --
On Crawford Hill --
Futures, real and imagined --
Mistakes --
Competition --
Apart --
Afterlives --
Inheritance --
Echoes.
Responsibility: Jon Gertner.

Abstract:

This work highlights achievements of Bell Labs as a leading innovator, exploring the role of its highly educated employees in developing new technologies while considering the qualities of companies where innovation and development are most successful. The author shows how Bell Labs served as an incubator for scientific innovation from the 1920s through the 1980s. In its heyday, Bell Labs boasted nearly 15,000 employees, 1,200 of whom held PhDs and 13 of whom won Nobel Prizes. And at its heart this is a story about a small group of brilliant and eccentric men including Mervin Kelly, Bill Shockley, Claude Shannon, John Pierce, and Bill Baker who spent their careers at Bell Labs. Thriving in a work environment that embraced new ideas, Bell Labs scientists introduced concepts that still propel many of today's most exciting technologies.

In this first full portrait of the legendary Bell Labs, journalist Jon Gertner takes readers behind one of the greatest collaborations between business and science in history. Officially the research and development wing of AT & T, Bell Labs made seminal breakthroughs from the 1920s to the 1980s in everything from lasers to cellular telephony, becoming arguably the best laboratory for new ideas in the world. Gertner's riveting narrative traces the intersections between science, business, and society that allowed a cadre of eccentric geniuses to lay the foundations of the information age, offering lessons in management and innovation that are as vital today as they were a generation ago. -- Publisher description.

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"Gertner reveals the complicated humanity at work behind the scenes and provides unprecedented insight on some of history's most important scientific and technological advances. Packed with anecdotes Read more...

 
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